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Autistic 2nd grader wants to bring service dog to school

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RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, Pa. - A local family is fighting to get permission for their autistic son to take his service dog to school.

Officials said a service dog has never been allowed inside the Pine Richland School District, which would make Sophie the first.

Sophie serves Sean Forsyth, a second grade student, in hopes of keeping him calm and focused. Sean is diagnosed with a type of autism called Asperger's syndrome.

“I just love her with all my heart,” Sean said. “She’s my best friend.”

Sean’s parents said the school district is looking into the possibility of allowing Sean to bring Sophie to school, but no decision has been made.

“This is something that has been prescribed for him,” B.J. Forsyth said. “I don’t know why they won’t budge and let him take her to school.”

Sean’s mother, Jen, said she sees the positive impact the dog has on her son.

“He used to melt down for two hours, but now it’s minimal, like 15 minutes,” Jen Forsyth said.

Pine Richland School District officials said they are meeting with the Forsyths on Thursday to discuss the situation further.